?Forget Batman — if you want a man with wonderful toys, you have to call on James Bond. He may be a British spy with a license to kill, but it’s his laser watches, poison pens, tricked out cars, and other playthings of mass destruction from the curmudgeonly Santa Claus he calls “Q” that allow him to take out the bad guys with such style.
You’d think that a character with such easy, obvious toy tie-ins would mean that Bond would be the poster boy for movie toy merchandising. While some companies have managed to do Bond and his spy gear justice, unfortunately several companies were content to slap a 007 on any piece of crap — the equivalent of offering a flat Mr. Pibb and vodka and pretending it’s a dry martini. Here are 5 awesome James Bond toys that even Her Majesty would be happy to have… and 5 that should have their license revoked.
5) A View to a Kill Die-Cast Renault Taxi
?The James Bond franchise has included so many killer cars that you could spin it off into its own list, but it would certainly not contain a frigging taxi cab. Attaching the words “James Bond” to an item can only take it so far and in this case, it’s about two blocks.
4) Octopussy Spin Saw
?Had this item been made with the tiniest bit of competence, it would be on the best list. It’s smart and relevant to the film but the packaging was so flimsy and awful that it actually wrecked the toy itself. So top marks for concept and a giant thumbs down for the chintziest of execution.
3) The Bond Girls Jill Masterson
?During the mid-1990s, Exclusive Premiere cranked out “limited edition” middling quality, Mego-styled action figures at an alarming rate, many of which warmed shelves for close to a decade. Of their James Bond series, nothing was more glaringly awful than this, an action figure of a dead girl. Not an undead girl, which would have been understandable, but just a rotting, glittery corpse. In fact, to display this figure loose, it would be film accurate to have it discarded across a hotel bed, while Bond looks in horror.
2) A View to a Kill Sunglasses
?A low ebb for the Bond franchise was when the sole items to be found for 1985’s View to a Kill were a series of cheap pharmacy rack toys made with as little thought as possible by Imperial. Case in point: these sunglasses. The card artwork makes then 59-year-old Roger Moore look like your dad wearing a pair of comically oversized shades. The name’s Bond… Elton Bond.
1) James Bond 007 I.D. Tags
?As everybody knows, the secret to being a successful spy is to FUCKING WEAR SOMETHING THAT TELLS PEOPLE YOU’RE A SPY. This piece of Imperial Toys crap from 1965 would have been number one had it included a “Hello, My Name Is ____” sticker.
The best Bond toys begin on the next page.
5) James Bond/Odd Job Model Kits
?One of the highlights of the Bond merchandising blitz of the 1960s were these killer figure kits produced by Aurora, known for their amazing line of monster kits. While they could have phoned in something crappy and still have it sell, Aurora went the extra mile and made something that collectors still admire and assemble to this day.
4) Aston Martin/Lotus Esprit (tie)
?The Bond franchises relationship with toy car manufacturer Corgi was a fantastic marriage that just kept producing better and cooler children. Case in point these two amazing cars: one with tire slashing blades, while the other converts into a sub. Even if you’re kid who has no idea who James Bond is, these are cool cars you want to play with. That is a win/win situation.
3) James Bond Legacy Collection 12-Inch Figures
?James Bond is something of a Timelord seeing as he’s had a few regenerations. The fact that Sideshow Collectibles produced figures not only of fan favorites Connery and Moore but of less popular Bonds like Dalton and Lazenby, when they really didn’t have to is noteworthy.
As an added bonus these detailed figures smacked of care, after years of middling or downright terrible Bond figures (*cough* Exclusive Premiere *cough*) it felt like justice.
2) Thunderball Harpoon Gun
?This really doesn’t need much explanation. It’s a toy speargun — a kid wants this regardless of its association with Bond. Slapping the 007 logo on it and having it actually make sense within the confines of the movie itself are things we should never take for granted with movie merchandise because sadly, it’s not the norm.
1) James Bond 007 Shooting Attach? Case
?Multiple toys companies produced this set that completely immersed you into the world of being a spy. This briefcase came complete with passport, code book pistol, cash, bullets and silencer you were ready to see the world and kill your enemies.
To top it off this gruesome little case had a secret button that saw a knife blade pop out incase you needed to make a quick kill. It may have been the 1960s, but on the playground it was anything but peace and love, baby.